Matt Stone and Trey Parker Say ‘South Park’ Stopped Being ‘Funny’ at One Point

When a TV series like South Park has been on the air for over 20 years, it is bound to get stale at some point. Just like any show, it is nearly impossible to consistently keep it fresh every single episode. Yet somehow, Matt Stone and Trey Parker have managed to surprise fans with exciting new twists and turns that keep us fully invested in the series. But according to Parker and Stone, their show stopped being funny at one point. (Yet over time, they believe it got funny again.)

Kenny, Cartman, Kyle, and Stan
Kenny, Cartman, Kyle, and Stan | Getty Images

The ‘South Park’ creators tried to get their show canceled

During peak “cancel culture,” Parker and Stone tried to get their series canceled. South Park launched its own hashtag, #cancelsouthpark, which was advertised throughout its twenty-second season. This season launched the question of whether South Park can survive in the current political climate, with Parker and Stone wondering if they’re getting too old for the show.

And according to Parker, he’s just waiting to get “run out of town.”

“I think what we said is like, we’re those kids that are never gonna excuse ourselves from the table,” said Parker while speaking to Vanity Fair. “We’re going to wait to be excused. We’re going to wait to be thrown out. It’s just been a mentality for us—and in a way, it’s been a healthy mentality—that we, from the beginning, thought, ‘O.K., well, this isn’t going to last. Any minute now, we’re going to get run out of town.’”

“And that was part of the feeling of last season; that’s when we really started to feel, O.K., this might be it,” said Parker. “We might be getting run out of town. The way things are going, this might be about it for us. And so it was dealing with that sort of—it’s not even really fear. Part of it’s fear, and part of it’s like, ‘Oh, finally. God, what took you guys so long?’”

Matt Stone and Trey Parker say ‘South Park’ stopped being funny

RELATED: What Is Trey Parker’s Favorite ‘South Park’ Episode of All Time?

According to Parker, he thinks his series stopped being funny, but then got funny again because of the sheer silliness of the show.

“You know how they have that saying—a joke’s funny, and if you keep doing it, it starts to be not funny, but if you keep doing it, it starts to be funny again?” said Parker. “I think that’s sort of what we’re doing. We’ve been around so long, it’s like it was funny, and then it started being not funny, and now we’re 47-year-old men doing fart jokes, and it’s starting to be funny again. Because it’s like, ‘Dude, really? You’re still really doing that sh*t?’”

Matt Stone and Trey Parker admit they used to be jerks

According to Stone, the two of them weren’t the kindest people when they started the series. But now, their attitude and priorities have changed since they started making South Park episodes.

“I mean, we’re old,” said Stone. “We’re married with kids. When we started, we were these assh*les from Colorado, and we’ve been doing it so long that television has changed. But it’d just be weird if we didn’t change, too.”